Joe Judge has hooked his first really big fish as the Giants try to get out from under the deep end of the sea and start swimming closer to playoff waters.
The hope within Giants ownership as soon as Judge was hired as head coach was that the 39-year-old could attract and assemble a big-time staff — something Pat Shurmur could not do two years ago. Judge got the chance to sit down last Wednesday with Jason Garrett, and on Friday Garrett signed off to become the Giants’ new offensive coordinator, The Post confirmed.
Just like that, someone who spent the past decade trying (and often succeeding) to beat the Giants as the Cowboys’ head coach now joins forces with his former NFC East rival.
This checks several boxes for Judge and the Giants. Judge, a special teams coordinator for the Patriots, was a gamble at head coach the Giants were willing to take after he blew them away in an interview, a long-shot candidate who grabbed the gold ring. The Giants decided Judge was their man a day before they were to meet with Garrett about the head-coaching vacancy that Judge filled.
For this to work, though, Judge needed to put together a staff that in some ways made up for his lack of experience. Adding a former NFL coach was not a prerequisite, but it was a desire. Co-owner John Mara said, “That would be great if he could find the right person.’’ Judge’s selection for his defensive coordinator — 40-year-old Patrick Graham — does not meet that description.
Garrett, the Cowboys’ head coach for nearly 10 years, certainly does.
In some ways, this is a homecoming for Garrett. He went to college at Princeton and he played for the Giants from 2000-2003, backing up Kerry Collins and not throwing a single pass in those four seasons. He did, however, make a positive impression in the building as a class act and studious player.
Now comes the key question: How good of an offensive coordinator is he?
Garrett, who was a Cowboys quarterback from 1993-99, ran the offense in Dallas for four years before his promotion to head coach. He continued to call the plays until 2013, when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones insisted Garrett concentrate on coaching the entire team.
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SOURCE: New York Post, Paul Schwartz